Friday, May 27, 2011

Reflection as Pregnancy Comes to an End

As I get down to my final day or two of pregnancy, I can't help but reflect on the last nine months (and more). 
  • It's amazing how much you can love something that is the size of a poppyseed (week 4). As they grow organs and limbs and start moving, that love only grows. I can only imagine the love that we'll feel when we see their little faces for the first time (and beyond, of course!).
  • Pregnancy, for me anyways, went by incredibly fast. While I'm feeling "done" with being pregnant right now, I know that I will still miss it.
  • Midwives are amazing. You know that they genuinely care about your well-being and the well-being of your babies when they get out of bed at 11:30pm to drive to the hospital to take your blood pressure. Yes, it may be part of their job description but in my opinion, it still goes above and beyond. Tip: If you want a midwife, call several practices on the day you find out you're pregnant. Don't wait! They are in high demand for a reason. 
  • People have babies every single day, but when it's about to happen to you, it is the biggest thing in the world. It is still surreal to both Jenn and I that in a matter of days, we will be responsible for two little humans. 
  • Pregnancy has brought Jenn and I even closer together. Just when you think that your relationship has reached its highest level, it continues to grow. I know that the babies will help us grow together even more.
  • I'm not afraid of labour and the pain. If I start worrying about it, I'll have to worry about the million possible directions that it could go.
  • See a chiropractor if you can when you're pregnant! I started seeing one at 14 weeks and it was the greatest thing I could have done for the backaches. 
  • As I've already said in a previous post, pregnancy has been very humbling. It's amazing how two little babies can take control of your body making the simplest things so much more difficult. After being active all of my life, having to slow down was a tough lesson to learn. 
  • The support that we've received from family and friends has meant more to me than I could ever find the words to express. The calls, emails, texts, facebook messages, offers to help etc. have helped me through the tougher points of pregnancy. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so much love. Our girls are very lucky to be coming into such an amazing extended family!
  • Jenn's going to kill me for this one...At 38 weeks pregnant, I can actually say that at some point I might want to be pregnant again :) (Ask me about this one again in a few weeks. My answer might change drastically!)
  • Things don't always go as planned. Have faith in God, the universe, a higher power, or whatever it is that you believe in, that things will work out in the way that they are supposed to. It may not make sense at the time, but the answers do eventually present themselves. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nice little Saturday planned....

"Actually we've got a nice little Saturday planned. We're going to Home Depot to pick out some wallpaper, then maybe we'll hit Bed Bath and Beyond, swing by the hospital and have some twins... I don't know! I don't know if we'll have enough time!"

A great quote from a great movie :) Will Ferrell in Old School. Obviously, the twin part was added by yours truly. 

Unless something miraculous happens, I will be induced on Saturday morning! Hopefully Jenn and I will be parents by the end of the day! I will be 38 weeks pregnant, which is officially the end of the line for a twin pregnancy. I have tried almost every natural induction method possible in the last two weeks, but my body wasn't ready. You can have the greatest birth plan in the world but plans change. While I'm slightly disappointed with the extra medical intervention, I completely understand that this is what's best for me and the babies. More than anything, we are so excited that in a few short days we will finally get to meet our girls! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"I wish I had two moms..."

We went to see one of our midwives, Christie, today. She told us a quick story about her 6-year old son, who is in kindergarten. He has two best friends at school. The three of them are inseparable. It just so happens that his two bffs both come from families with two moms. Recently, Christie's son told her husband that he wishes that her husband was a woman. Then while chatting with Christie, he said, "Mom, why couldn't you have married a woman?! I wish I had two moms!" She tried to explain to him that it isn't that easy.

Our society has definitely come a long way! Jenn and I are so fortunate to live in such an open-minded and diverse city like Toronto where there are so many definitions of family. Hopefully this will not only help our girls always feel included and accepted but it will teach them to be compassionate and accepting of others as well.

In other news...

I am no more dilated than I was at my OB appointment last Thursday. Apparently, these babies are very comfortable in there. At this point, I'm not going to try and force things. I'm a huge proponent of listening to my body. My body is telling me that its not ready to let go of these babies just yet (for whatever reason!). Anyways, I have a feeling that I'll make it to Saturday's induction at this rate. So for now, I just need to 'be' with it and enjoy the last few days that Jenn and I have as a twosome! Come Saturday morning at 10:30am, the forced eviction process officially begins!

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20!

Goal achieved! May 20th represents 37 weeks pregnant, which also means that I am now full-term! It also represents my long-time pregnancy goal. I'm absolutely thrilled and feel very fortunate and blessed to have kept the babies in there for this long.

As most pregnant women (especially with multiples) can attest to, come the third trimester, preterm labour becomes a constant worry. Sure, the babies could have survived if they had been born at 26, 30 or 34 weeks, but the potential short and long-term complications would have great.

37 weeks also represents the FINAL fruit comparison....the giant WATERMELON (x2)!

Today brings two beautiful words: full-term. Now, whenever baby's born, he's likely to thrive. Also thriving? Your nesting instincts, which are behind those sudden urges to bake, clean, or embroider a onesie. (Feminists, take your issue up with nature, not with us.)

Baby's now the size of a watermelon!
Your full-term (yay!) baby is gaining about 1/2 ounce a day and getting his first sticky poop (called meconium) ready. He's also brushing up on skills for the outside world: blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling, and gripping (it's getting strong!).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eviction Notice

Dear inhabitants of my uterus-condo,

I'm writing to inform you both that your time in your current dwellings is coming to an end. I will never forget the day that I you both moved in. It was one of the most memorable and happy days for your Mom and I. At the time, we didn't know that two of you would be sharing the luxury digs, but we found out a few weeks later. While that discovery came as quite a shock to us both, we couldn't have been happier! We hoped and prayed that you both would get cozy and enjoy the food and lodgings until you were strong enough to make it on your own in the outside world. I have greatly enjoyed seeing you both grow from the size of a poppy seed to your current size of an almost watermelon both on the "big screen"and via my expanding belly.

I can imagine that you're quite comfortable in there since your food supply is unlimited and your bedding is soft and waterbed-like, but I would also guess that space is coming at a premium at this point. Baby A, you seem to be growing at the speed of light, taking over some of your sister's space. While I love feeling you both move around the condo, the rib kicks (yes you, Baby A) can be kept at a minimum. The outside world offers much more space to grow, kick and stretch.

As we spoke about many months ago, my condo only offers a 9 month lease option. This is non-negotiable. While you may not remember because you didn't have eyes or ears at the time, you agreed many months ago to a May 20th move out date. I think you will both enjoy the outside world very much. It might be frightening at first but I assure you, there are many, many people who are anxiously awaiting your arrival. You are going to be showered with endless love and support.

Your Mom and I cannot wait to meet you both. We hope that you decide to join us out here soon.

Love always,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

36 Week Bump

36 weeks! Time has really flown by. At this point, it's a waiting game. I haven't felt what I would guess are real contractions...or I don't think I have! I've been getting more braxton-hicks-type contractions though but they're different from the ones I've gotten in the earlier weeks. I've also been feeling a ton of pressure in my lower abdomen. Baby A feels like she's going to push right through my hip at many points throughout the day.

I went for my final ultrasound on Friday. Since I've graduated from Sunnybrook, I had to go to an ultrasound clinic. We've been spoiled at Sunnybrook. The tech would tell us everything (measurements, weights, fluid levels etc) right away. At the clinics, they aren't allowed to tell you ANYTHING. I got annoyed with the woman so she gave me a weight estimate for the babies. She was definitely just trying to appease me so who knows how accurate they actually are. She said that both babies are approximately 5 1/2 pounds.

The babies will be here in a matter of days (at most 12 days). I'm definitely hitting a wall and am ready to have my body back. Yes, I'll admit that I'm feeling quite uncomfortable now but will still miss being pregnant. It's funny how that works.

Here it final bump picture! The 36 week twin bump:

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Strangest Compliment Yet

While walking with the dogs in the Brickworks this morning, I received what has to be the strangest compliment yet. A woman walking towards me stops and says...

"Oh my gosh! You are carrying so beautifully! You must give birth in these woods right now!!"

Not surprisingly, I had no clue what to say!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Thankfully, I don't have it.

We had a minor scare last night. Mid-afternoon yesterday, I developed a headache. No biggie. I came home, drank water and lay down to rest. That usually does the trick. As the afternoon rolled into evening, my headache got progressively worse. By 6pm, I was feeling slightly nauseous and the light was bothering me...typical migraine symptoms. I took tylenol and tried to relax, hoping the pain would subside. Unfortunately, the pain continued and by 11pm, I hadn't been able to sleep very well and was feeling really nauseous. I called our midwife because I knew that severe migraine-like headaches and nausea could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia = A pregnancy disorder that results in very high blood pressure. It can be life-threatening to the mother and baby if left untreated. It can come on very suddenly and result in seizures, strokes and organ failure. Common symptoms, besides high blood pressure, include severe headache, nausea/vomiting, vision problems, swelling. The only way to resolve the disorder is to deliver the baby/babies immediately.

Knowing the definition above and knowing that carrying multiples puts you at greater risk of developing pre-e, I was worried. After talking to Sarah, our midwife at 11:30pm, she recommended that we head to the hospital. She would meet us there. When we all got there, she took my blood pressure immediately and hooked me up to the monitor to listen to the babies. Thankfully, my blood pressure was perfect and our girls, particularly baby A, was dancing up a late-night storm. I don't think I've ever been more relieved to have an ordinary nausea-producing migraine headache. Jenn and I were home by 1am. I had something to eat, took more tylenol and Gravol, for the nausea and sedating-effect, and went to bed. I woke up this morning with no headache, feeling a million times better. Here's to at least another week of baby cookin'!

Monday, May 9, 2011

And, Our Babies' Names Are...

...just kidding.

The top names of 2010 were released last week (something you're only aware of as a future parent!). All I can say is that our girls' names didn't make the top 100 of the SSA (Social Security Administration)'s 2010 list. The Canadian top 100 list is virtually the same. And no, we didn't name them Apple or Ocean or Dandelion...

Here are the top 20:

Popularity in 2010

RankMale nameFemale name

Friday, May 6, 2011

Induction Date Set!

I had a midwife appointment yesterday. She had spoken with the OB who will hopefully be delivering the babies. Here are a few key dates!

May 12: Jenn's birthday :)

May 14: I'll be 36 weeks pregnant. Toronto East General's rules state that a baby born before 36 weeks will have to go to the NICU, at least temporarily. I'm hoping to make it past that point. Another rule is that the babies need to be above 5lbs 7oz to avoid NICU time. Here's to hoping that Tuesday's ultrasound was somewhat accurate and the babies are currently around 5lbs 2oz and 4lbs 13oz! At this stage, they grow an average of 1/2 pound per week.

Week of May 16th: I can start doing some natural induction techniques to ready my body for labour (ie. acupuncture, massage pressure points)

May 19: I meet with the OB to talk about medical induction. I will be 1 day shy of 37 weeks pregnant.

May 27: The start of the medical induction process, if I haven't gone into labour on my own. I'm really hoping that it will happen naturally though. I'd prefer to avoid being confined to a bed on an IV with fluids and pitocin (the drug that is used to start labour).

We're going to have two little girls by the end of May!

Mom, Mommy, Momma, Maman, Ema??

We had dinner with my cousin, Katie, the other night. She had a question for us, she said nervously. She feared that the question would be too personal. That was actually a big reason why I started this blog. I am not easily offended and don't feel like there are too many questions that would be too personal, especially when it comes to our family. I'd much rather the question be asked then for family and friends (or strangers!) to sit and wonder (and inevitably jump to conclusions).

So, Katie's question, 'what are you guys going to call yourselves?' Good question :) This is something that Jenn and I have talked about since before I was even pregnant. We'd chat about it briefly, then forget about it for weeks or even months. We talked about using the standard Mom, Mommy, Momma etc. We thought about using "mom" in another language. We thought about creating our own names. The list goes on...

Apparently, we were ready to make a decision on Tuesday night. When Katie asked her question, I said that I think I'd like to be called 'Mommy,' at least while they were younger. Jenn decided on 'Mom.' That was that - we made our decision. Thank you, Katie, for helping us finally answer a question that has been out there for over a year!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baby Jail

Jenn was lucky enough to discover that "bunk cribs" actually do exist after joking about it for months. What baby wouldn't like to sleep in baby jail?! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

10 Pounds o' Baby

The girls have made it to 34 weeks which means that they officially graduate from the Sunnybrook multiples clinic! We are absolutely thrilled because this is a huge milestone for twins. Had they been born before now, they may have required Sunnybrook's level III NICU.

So I had my final Sunnybrook ultrasound this morning. Our girls are little beefcakes! Baby A is weighing in at 5 lbs 2 oz (just above the 75th percentile!) and B is 4 lbs 13oz (approx 70th percentile!). With 3 lbs of placenta weight and a ton of fluid added to their weights, I now understand why I've slowed down significantly in the last three weeks. Ultrasounds are definitely not an exact science, so while the weights may be off (+/- 11oz), it's nice to know that the important things like amniotic fluid levels, blood flow to the babies, umbilical cords etc. are all looking very good. I feel so fortunate to be able to talk about the "fun" things, like their weight gain and percentiles. We've met another future twin parents who have not been so lucky, so I certainly count my blessings.

So the big question that I'm being asked these much longer?! The next few weeks are very important for the babies in terms of growth (fattening up) and lung development. One week can make all the difference between NICU time or not. I'm hoping that they stay in their until May 20, but if they were to come anytime after Jenn's birthday (May 12), I'd still be happy. The specialist at the twin clinic recommends induction between 37.5-38.5 weeks (May 24-31). We also learned that 50% of people go into labour on their own around 36 weeks (May 13).

Since the girls have graduated from Sunnybrook, we're going back to full-time midwife care. I'll still be going in for weekly ultrasounds. Providing the ultrasounds continue to look good, we'll be seeing the OB at delivery!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dinner With Twins

As you may remember, Jenn and I did a prenatal class in January. There was another couple in the class who was also pregnant with twins. They were about two months ahead of us. They had their twins in the middle of March; an adorable little boy and girl. Anyways, I've exchanged a few messages with one of them over the last month or so. They invited us over for dinner last night, so we could get a sneak peak at life with newborn twins (and a dog!). We obviously felt horrible about having them cook for us, but they insisted. One of their mother's was staying with them so she was able to help out.

When we arrived the twins were in their bouncy chairs, hanging out. Their bulldog was running around playing with his 'cuz' (Riley and Finn have one too). The babies were both very well-behaved throughout the night, so clearly life with twins is easy ;) Kidding, of course. The babies are now 6 weeks old and we were told that things are only starting to calm down (vvvvvery slightly). Their little boy is weighing in at 12 pounds now and has an adorable full head of hair that Jenn joked had hair product in it because it was up in a faux-hawk. He is an incredibly calm and laid-back baby who loves to stare at the ceiling! Their little girl is weighing in at 9 pounds. She is more energetic and was apparently the one who kicked constantly in utero. Amanda said that she was convinced that her little girl was going to come out screaming and sure enough, she was right! It was amazing to see the differences in personalities.

It was awesome to get a sneak peak at what in store for us in the very near future. It's also great to know a couple who are a few months ahead in the 'twin raising process' because they've been a great resource already for questions and advice. With only a few weeks to go, I think we're as ready as we'll ever be!